Seasoned Mediation Attorney Assisting Divorcing Couples in Massachusetts
Middlesex County divorce mediator
While litigation is an important tool for obtaining results, in the right circumstances, alternative dispute resolution via mediation is less contentious and also more cost-effective. As an experienced attorney concentrating in negotiation and mediation in Massachusetts, I have reached settlements in contentious divorce cases through a calmer process, sparing my clients the pressure of litigation when possible.
What is divorce mediation?
Mediation is an entirely voluntary process, using a trained mediator to help people come to an agreement on issues they wish to resolve. Mediation is being used more and more in the domestic relations arena — particularly regarding marital issues that need to be resolved. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but rather encourages and works with them to explore options and guide them in reaching their own agreement. Because participation is voluntary, both parties must agree and be committed to the mediation process in order for it to be successful. However, either party may terminate the mediation process at any time. Any agreement reached by the parties must be voluntary as well.
Benefits of hiring a mediator who is also an attorney
As a mediator who is also an attorney, I do not represent either party in the divorce process. Each party may hire his or her own attorney at any time during the process. As a divorce lawyer and mediator, I can assist clients with the following:
- The mediation process
- Preparation of an outline of the agreement that the parties have reached
- The final agreement (this is only recommended when the mediator is also an attorney)
Why should we use mediation for our divorce?
There are several good reasons to consider mediation in the divorce process. These reasons include, but are not limited to:
- Cost control — Mediation is usually far less expensive than an adversarial process.
- Direct participation — The parties participate very closely in the process and can address their concerns and positions freely and without prejudice.
- Self-determination — The parties make their own final decisions.
- Privacy — Mediation is a very private matter and, in most instances, confidential.
Ground rules for the mediation process
When I conduct mediation, I review the following rules with the parties in order to ensure that the mediation process moves along smoothly and minimizes antagonistic behavior. It is recommended that each party:
- Attack the problems and concerns at hand. Do not attack each other.
- Avoid positions. Rather, express your needs and interests and the outcomes you would like to realize.
- Work for what you believe is the most constructive and fairest agreement for both of you.
- During settlement meetings, remember the following:
- Do not interrupt when the other party is speaking. You will have a full and equal opportunity to speak on every issue presented for discussion.
- Do not use language that blames or finds fault with the other. Use noninflammatory words. Be respectful.
- Speak for yourself: make “I” statements. Use each other’s first names and avoid “he” or “she.”
- If you share a complaint, raise it as your concern and follow it up with a constructive suggestion about how it might be resolved.
- If something is not working for you, please tell the mediator so your concern can be addressed.
- Listen carefully and try to understand what the other person is saying without being judgmental about the person or his or her message.
Divorce mediation homework
If you are interested in mediation through this office, it will save time and money if you and your spouse complete an online questionnaire prior to our first mediation session.
For an effective divorce mediator in Massachusetts
I am a divorce mediator in Arlington with a record of helping divorcing couples reach a settlement without litigation. Reach me at 617.651.5044 or online for a free initial consultation to discuss your mediation needs. With an office located conveniently in Arlington, one block west from the Arlington Town Hall, I maintain flexible office hours and also make house calls upon request. I also return calls after hours so that we can discuss your divorce at your convenience.